A short term plan for Cassidy...

15+ year old Quarter Horse gelding. Old style QH with substantial bone and muscle. He is aloof, been through a lot of changes and needs someone to focus their attention on him.

A short term plan for Cassidy...

Postby Juliane on Sat Dec 09, 2006 10:44 pm

Cassidy has been a bugger to figure out! I've worked with him a bit under saddle since he's been here and he's never given me ANY reason to think he would buck me off. In fact, I was beginning to think the issue he had at his previous foster's home was a fluke since I couldn't seem to reproduce it!

As I've continued to try and get back on my feet and scale back on horses, I asked Geri and Sam to figure out where to move Cassidy to in the very near future since he really didn't seem to be having any issues in training with me.

So, last night, a local trainer from a local boarding facility came by to look at Cassidy as a potential horse for one of her clients. She immediately became enamored with him and his quiet, respectful and polite mannerisms. We took him out to the round pen where Julie did some work with Cassidy on the ground. She asked him to do some basic exercises, such as hindquarter yielding and giving to the pressure of the rope. Cassidy was perfect!

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She asked if she could see me ride him, so I went and grabbed my saddle. When I got back, I tacked him up. He was quiet and didn't move at all. What a good boy! He's always been excellent at being tacked up. However, here's where things got tricky.

We were standing at the round pen gate when I took his halter off and asked him to move out. He really didn't seem to want to move, and I was a bit more forceful with my request than I've been in the past. I was swinging the lead rope towards him in an effort to ask him to move out... however, when he still didn't respond the way I liked, I let the rope tap him on the rump.

He immediately turned into a bucking bronco. He bucked, and bucked, and bucked some more! Even when I tried pushing him through it. As soon as I'd release the pressure, he'd come to a stop, with his back humped up. I'd ask him to move again, and he'd take off bucking! What the heck?!?! He's NEVER done this with me! I was pretty embarressed, to say the least.

So, I asked Cassidy to stop. I approached him, to which he responded with tension, wide eyes and a loud snort... Awww... I gave him lots of loves and reassurances, then removed the saddle. After a few more cuddles, I asked him to move out again. He was fine. He fairly quickly became the Cassidy I was used to.... smooth, easy going and laid back.

I had him stop again and saddled him up again, making sure there wasn't something wrong with my saddle and pad. Everything looked fine! I asked him to move out again, and again, he bucked. It wasn't as severe as before, more like half hearted crow hops, but he was still VERY uncomfortable with the saddle on. I didn't get it. This was the same saddle I'd used before on him, same pad. It wasn't pinching him anywhere that I could see - so what in the heck was going on?

I had him come to a stop again and then approached him. This time I did my best to relax myself, tried conveying a mental image to him to encourage him to relax, and then just stood there scratching his neck. Julie and I stood there talking about what was going on, how confused I was and wondering what in the heck was going on. The only thing different this session was my tap on his rump with the lead rope. Could that have caused this? After hanging out with him for about 10 minutes, we decided to try it again.

This time he trotted off quietly and relaxed. What in the heck again? His bucking spree went as quickly as it came. Weird! After working him for a bit, making sure he was over his bucking, I decided to go ahead and get on.

He was quiet and did as I asked, but also seemed right on that edge of really wanting to explode and start bucking. Both Julie and I had a hard time deciphering if he was broke and just had been treated horribly in the past, which would explain why he'd stop and tense up when asked to move forward again. The strange thing is that he never did this any of the prior times I have worked with him. I still don't get it.

I dismounted and Julie got on. Cassidy was unsure of this new person climbing on his back, but even though he was worried, he did his best to stand quietly. Good boy! I walked along, leading Cassidy, as Julie rode him. After a while, I removed the lead rope and she rode alone. He was still good, but very uncertain. Anytime he'd stop, she'd ask him to move forward. The moment he did, she'd give him a reassuring scratch. Before long, he was alot more relaxed and soft to her requests, with less fearful stops.

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I'm still completely flabbergasted as to what happened last night! I hope I can reproduce and fix whatever happened. The good news is that it looks like Julie is interested in adopting Cassidy. However, she doesn't have room for him right away. Sam and I had made prior arrangements that if it didn't work out with Julie, I would be hauling him to her facility in Yakima tomorrow (Sunday).

So, the short term plan is that since Cassidy's board/training is paid up through the end of December, I will keep him until then. Julie is going to work on being able to take him by then, and if not, I will haul him to Sam's.

This will also give me some time to figure out what the bucking thing was. I plan to get back on him tomorrow and try and figure out what happened. Poor guy!
Feel the Spirit, Keep on Riding!
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Cassidy

Postby mkgbuegel on Mon Dec 11, 2006 9:19 pm

Hi Juliane,

I think Cassidy was trying to tell you how he feels about the potential new owners. While I am sure she was very nice, I don't think Cassidy is very excited about the possible change. I think hes quite worried about what will happen to him. Just what I get from him.
-Michelle
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Postby Juliane on Wed Dec 13, 2006 10:02 am

Hey Michelle! Cassidy is a very big worrier. :( It makes me wonder what his past was. He doesn't seem terribly abused - he's very friendly. However, he does seem impacted by not knowing what his future holds. He does seem to know my place is just a 'temporary' home though.

I do, honestly, wish I had the room and finances to keep this guy. He really is one of the most amazing horses I've worked with :) I worry about him too.. It's funny how I bond with some horses more than others, and worry about some, more than others.. :?
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Postby ponygril68 on Thu Jan 04, 2007 4:32 pm

when is cass going to his new home?
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Postby Juliane on Thu Jan 04, 2007 6:23 pm

I believe Julie is trying to get in touch with Geri to make arrangements. Once that's finalized, then we are just waiting for space to open up at her barn, which I believe she said would be after Sunday. I'm thinking it may be in the very near future! :) But I'm just the middle-man.
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